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Milan-San Remo 2022: Route, start list and all you need to know

Will Strickson
10 Mar 2022

A hub of television coverage, previews and all you need to about the 2022 Milan-San Remo

Milan-San Remo: The Epics

We take a look at some of the most memorable editions, moments and riders that have played a part in the race's history.

1910 - Riders on the storm 

Eugene Christophe Milan San Remo

The fourth edition of Milan-San Remo after its inauguration in 1907 is generally regarded as having been held in some of the worst weather conditions that bicycle racers have come up against. The eventual winner, Eugene Christophe, is also famous for being the first person to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France.

As the riders lined up on the Milanese start line at 6am, heavy snow was reported to be falling on the Turchino Pass – a stalwart of the parcours, coming as a mid-distance test for the riders – which caused many to abandon before the race had even begun. Once out on the road, the riders were soon isolated and riding by themselves amid the harsh conditions, and by the time they reached the Turchino there were only half of them left.

Belgian Cyrille Van Hauwaert was first over the top, 10 minutes ahead of the next rider, but took shelter in a roadside cottage and refused to continue. Christophe himself stopped too, but resumed after eating and finding some trousers to wear, and eventually made his way to front of the field.

When he eventually arrived in San Remo he didn't even realise he had won after mistakenly thinking he had taken a wrong turn. He was taken to hospital with frostbite, and wasn't released for a further month.

Second place Luigi Ganna arrived almost 40 minutes after Christophe, but was disqualified for having taken a lift in a car, and only five riders out of 63 starters made it to the finish. Those, as they say, were the days.

2013 - Please take the replacement bus service...

Milan San Remo 2013

While Eugene Christophe and the like raced in an era when bicycle races were a feat of endurance that bordered on the militaristic, today's racers, while probably carrying similar DNA, are of an era of professionalised, commercialised sport.

This means that winning a race no longer results in having to spend a month in hospital, but the weather can still have an impact.

The year that Gerald Ciolek won was a modern-era hark back to the days of raw physical suffering though, with reports of riders crying and shivering uncontrollably as they rode through the sleet and snow.

So bad were the conditions that the race was shortened from 298km to 246km, and the two highest climbs – the Turchino and La Manie – were bypassed, with the riders climbing into their team buses and driven to the coast in a mid-race transfer.

Ian Stannard and Sylvain Chavanel led a dwindling bunch over the Poggio (the final climb of the race), and formed a six-man group that also included Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan, which Ciolek, in a sprint that was painful just watching, eventually won out of. 

The nail-biters 

1992 - Demon descending

Sean Kelly Milan San Remo

Being the best part of 300km long, and with a series of testing climbs peppered throughout the parcours, Milan-San Remo is clearly a race that requires a decent amount of physical endeavour.

But the nature of the course allows for a long list of potential winners, and an annual display of tactical complexity.

One such example was when Sean Kelly pipped Moreno Argentin in '92: The Italian was a hot favourite after notching up three consecutive wins in Tirreno-Adriatico, and after powering away on the Poggio he indeed appeared to have an insurmountable gap.

But Kelly, in the twilight of his career and having struggled on the climb, eschewed expectation and attacked on the descent.

Taking advantage of Argentin's weak descending skills, the Irishman eventually bridged across and unashamedly refused to work, before putting Argentin to the sword in the sprint.

1999 - By a Tchmillimeter 

The '99 edition of Milan-San Remo pitted a typically broad array of favourites together, from the pure sprint speed of Erik Zabel and all-round capabilities of Michele Bartoli to the climbing prowess of Marco Pantani.

The latter two had forged ahead before commencing the Poggio, but a lack of cohesion meant that everything came back together on the run-in, for what was then taken to be a guaranteed Erik Zabel win.

But with less than a kilometre to go, the Russian-stroke-Belgian (and now officially Moldovan) Andrei Tchmil took a flyer. Already a victor at Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Tours, but not necessarily on the radar for Milan-San Remo, Tchmil's deftly timed attack proved to be the winning move, leaving the galloping bunch, led by Zabel, to fight for second.

The to-the-liners

2004 - Zabel surprised 

Milan San Remo Sprint Finish

Along with celebrating a lap early, it's probably one of the most embarrassing and frustrating things that could happen to a professional cyclist. But in the 2004 edition of Milan-San Remo, German sprinter Erik Zabel had a 'bit of a mare' and raised his arms to celebrate, only to watch Oscar Friere squeeze underneath him and take the win.

It would be the first of three Milan-San Remo victories for the Spaniard, in a race that suited his tactical nous and physical strengths perfectly. 

2009 - Cav pips Haussler

Milan San Remo 2009

In perhaps one of the most tantalising climaxes to a race possible, Mark Cavendish took the biggest win of his young career with a truly remarkable sprint in the 2009 edition of the race.

Australian Heinrich Haussler, who would go on to enjoy his most successful season as a pro to date, had launched a surprise early sprint/late attack with 250m to go, gaining what appeared to be an insurmountable gap.

But Cavendish, who was about to come into the prime years of his road sprinting career, used the last 100m to kick, and kick again, pulling himself up to Haussler, and then past him within millimeters of the line. It was enough to make you – and him – weep.

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